How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The price of your new solar system will, of course, depend on how big the installation is. Or to put it another way – how many kiloWatts (kW) of solar panels you choose to install will affect how much it costs.

How much solar panels cost

You’ll be pleased to know that prices in Australia have dropped significantly since I started SolarQuotes back a decade ago (when a piddly installation with 1kW of solar panels cost $10,000!) – particularly pricing for larger systems. You’ll get far more capacity for the same money.

And despite what you may have heard, the price you pay in 2020 for a PV system is still heavily subsidised by the Australian government-run solar rebate scheme.

The rebate fluctuates based on the value of things called STCs, which are explained in more detail on the page I linked to above. With the current price of STCs as at July 2020 you are looking at up-front savings of about $585 per kW installed. 

Here’s how the pricing works out for a typical 3kW system, including installation: 

(Note: these solar panel prices are very approximate and assume quality components are used in the installation. To get accurate pricing for your particular situation, I would advise getting 3 quotes from local installers I’ve pre-vetted.)

Typical cost of an installed 3kW solar system: $5,950
Government Rebate:   $1,665
Cost to you for 3kW of solar power: Approx $4,285

Whether a 3kW system is an appropriate size installation for you or not is a good question, but one that is difficult to answer. It is not as simple as buying a solar system that generates the same amount of electricity that your household uses. Why? It is a long answer and it’s here.

If you clicked that link your head may be spinning (especially if you watched the video of me droning on!). If it’s all a bit much, consider getting 3 quotes through my site to assist you in making a purchase decision. The carefully-screened Australian solar power system installers we match your request with can advise you exactly what you will need to buy based on your energy consumption habits and location, and provide detailed specifications and pricing of solar panels, inverters and other components to be used in a recommended system.

Approximate Costs Of Solar Systems After the Rebate

The range of prices in Australia below is mainly down to the quality of the hardware used in the installation. To use a car analogy (as most people are more familiar with car brands than solar power brands), expect the lower price range to be “Kia” level brand and the upper cost to be a “BMW” level brand. I’ll leave you to decide if BMWs are worth paying more for than Kias!

Approximate cost of a good quality solar system installation with Tier 1 solar panels (fully installed) as at July 2020 in Australia:

System size Number of panels Cost Range (July 2020)
1.5kW 5 $2,500 – $4,000
2kW 7 $3,000 – $4,500
3kW 10 $3,500 – $5,000
4kW 14 $4,000 – $6,000
5kW 17 $4,500 – $8,000
6kW 20 $5,000 – $9,000
6.6kW 22 $5,200 – $9,200
7kW 23 $6,500 – $10,000
8kW 27 $7,500 – $11,000
10kW 33 $8,000 – $12,000

Note that the above assumes the use of 300W solar panels, so the final solar panel capacity may be a little more or less than the figures mentioned above.

Microinverter Cost

If you want a good quality microinverter system installed, expect to add around 20% in cost to the above price ranges.

Budget Inverters

If you want to downgrade to a reputable budget inverter (e.g Sungrow or Zeversolar), you may be able to save about $700 on these prices.

Finding the money

You may be looking at those prices and thinking: “Wow, that’s a lot of money to find!”, even with the rebate. I agree. Which is why it is important for Australians to understand the payback and cashflows involved with solar panels, so you can assess if the cost of an installation is going to be a worthwhile investment for you.

I should also point out that you can buy solar systems at prices much lower than those detailed above. But I would be wary of the quality of the components (not just the solar panels) and installation that you will get if the price seems too good to be true.

Whether you finance your system installation via savings or by adding it to your mortgage, at current interest rates, you may even find that your solar power system pays for itself immediately. By that I mean that the savings from your reduced bills may outweigh either the extra repayments or the lost interest on your savings. Again this depends on lots of variables – so do your research.

To explore if this would be possible in your situation, I’ve created a “no BS” solar payback calculator that lets you try out different options and see the overall solar energy savings and cash flows over the lifetime of your system.

If you’re considering installing solar panels for your home or business, SolarQuotes can help you get quotes from high-quality Australian installers quickly and easily:

>>Next: What Different Types Of Solar Panel Are Out There For You To Choose From? >>

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